Newsbriefing – Week of 21 January

Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) claimed responsibility for the car bomb attack which killed over 20 members of the Santander National Police Academy. Colombian president Ivan Duque promised to bring the perpetrators, deemed as terrorists, to justice.

On January 23, the president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó declared himself as interim president of Venezuela, thus directly challenging the government of Nicolas Maduro. The latter was vividly criticised by the international community when he recently won the re-elections in the country. The United States hastened in recognising Guaidó as the legitimate representative of the Venezuelan people.

Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, Jamaican Minister of National Security, called the Caribbean Community to confront transnational organised crime in 2019. He put a particular emphasis on the island-states’ vulnerability to the threats of criminal activities and violence.

In Ghana, the Ministry of Health warned the population against the use of counterfeit drugs – such as antibiotics or tramadol – on the national market. The declaration of the minister took place during the launching of a study made by the EU-funded programme Enhancing Africa’s Response to Transnational Organised Crime (ENACT).

In 2018 there was 35% increase in the number of cocaine seizures made in the European ports of Rotterdam – Netherlands – and Antwerp – Belgium. According to the specialists, this increase is a direct consequence of the boom in cocaine production in Colombia.

The Security forces of Colombia issued an alert to Ecuadorian security forces to urge them to be ready for a cross-border attacks by the Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN). According to the sources, the ELN plans to attack Ecuador for refusing to hold peace talks between the group and the Colombian government in 2018. Unlikely in neighbouring Venezuela, the ELN has, for now, no control over Ecuadorian territory.